Opinion by Richard Baird.
Theatre Royal Plymouth (TRP) is the largest and best attended regional producing theatre in the UK and leading promoter of theatre in the South West. It runs a diverse programme of performances, activities and events, and has a 1300 seat auditorium capable of delivering West End musicals, opera and ballet, as well as a smaller 175 seat theatre for experimental productions. The building, located on Plymouth’s Royal Parade, also houses a café, restaurant and community performance space.
In response to increased competition TRP looked to diversify its audience, retain current visitors and to improve the uptake of its outreach programmes through a new visual identity system as part of a wider regeneration project. Developed by London based Spy, the visual identity system was created to reflect the dynamic nature and joy of experiencing live performance and to connect with a broader audience. This was achieved through a vibrant colour palette of shifting planes, patterns and light, and a holistic approach that, alongside logo and print, included animation, signage and wayfinding.
Freies Theater Hannover offers a diverse programme of classical and contemporary theatre, multimedia productions, musical experiments, modern dance and educational initiatives for both children and adults that take place across many of Hannover’s independent theatres.
Bureau Hardy Seiler, working in collaboration with Created by Monkeys, was recently commissioned by the organisation to develop a new brand identity solution that would unite the diverse programme and the variety of locations under one unified visual system, deliver a recognisable visual impact across the city and convey some of the emotion of live performance. This was achieved through the juxtaposition of sans-serif and serif typography, bright geometric illustrative detail, black ink and unprinted white space across a stationery set and a bi-monthly mailer that doubles as a poster.
Musical Theatre Network is a London-based organisation created to support and champion the development of new British musical theatre. The organisation’s visual identity, created by brand and design agency Glad, ‘expresses the essence of the network; connecting individuals or groups to create something new and exciting’ through an identity solution that cleverly leverages the length of the name to build a series of simple but communicative anagrams.
These are appropriately drawn from a grid-structured sans-serif logo-type built from wide and slim humanist, geometric letterforms, consistent diagonals, a contemporary single line weight and square terminals – similar to 19th century London transport signage achieving a sense pure information and communication which resonates well with theatrical expression – contained within a blackboard reminiscent of classic illuminated theatre and cinema hoardings. The result delivers conceptual and expanding richness with subtle modernistic sensibilities through smart observation and a visually straightforward combination of letter-forms.